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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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the son of Lamech. Amidst the general corruption of the human race Noah only was found righteous, Genesis 6:9 . He therefore "found grace in the sight of the Lord," and was directed for his preservation to make an ark, the shape and dimensions of which were prescribed by the Lord. In A.M. 1656, and in the six hundreth year of his age, Noah, by divine appointment, entered his ark with his family, and all the animals collected for the renewal of the world. ( See DELUGE. ) After the ark had stranded, and the earth was in a measure dried, Noah offered a burnt- sacrifice to the Lord, of the pure animals that were in the ark; and the Lord was pleased to accept of his offering, and to give him assurance that he would no more destroy the world by water, Genesis 9. He gave Noah power over all the brute creation, and permitted him to kill and eat of them, as of the herbs and fruits of the earth, except the blood, the use of which was prohibited. After the deluge Noah lived three hundred and fifty years; and the whole time of his life having been nine hundred and fifty years, he died, A.M. 2006. According to common opinion, he divided the earth among his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. To Shem he gave Asia, to Ham Africa, and to Japheth Europe. Some will have it, that beside these three sons he had several others. St. Peter calls Noah a preacher of righteousness, because before the deluge he was incessantly preaching and declaring to men, not only by his discourses, but by the building of the ark, in which he was employed a hundred and twenty years, that the cloud of divine vengeance was about to burst upon them. But his faithful ministry produced no effect, since, when the deluge came, it found mankind practising their usual enormities, Matthew 24:37 . Several learned men have observed that the Heathens confounded Saturn, Deucalion, Ogyges, the god Coelus or Ouranus, Janus, Protheus, Prometheus, &c, with Noah. The fable of Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha is manifestly drawn from the history of Noah. The rabbins pretend that God gave Noah and his sons certain general precepts, which contain, according to them, the natural duties which are common to all men indifferently, and the observation of which alone will be sufficient to save them. After the law of Moses was given, the Hebrews would not suffer any stranger to dwell in their country, unless he would conform to the precepts of Noah. In war, they put to death without quarter all who were ignorant of them. These precepts are seven in number: the first was against the worship of idols; the second, against blasphemy, and required to bless the name of God; the third, against murder; the fourth, against incest and all uncleanness; the fifth, against theft and rapine; the sixth required the administration of justice; the seventh was against eating flesh with life. But the antiquity of these precepts is doubted, since no mention of them is made in the Scripture, or in the writings of Josephus, or in Philo; and none of the ancient fathers knew any thing of them.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Noah'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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